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Thursday, February 07, 2002

Reassessing Scalia- I questioned Justice Scalia's functioning IQ yesterday on his remarks on the death penalty. Kevin Holtsberry put a solid $0.02

I don't think Scalia meant judges should be required to resign only that if they felt deeply that they could not uphold the law then the should resign rather than seek to undermine it from the bench. I think t he quote was in a larger context. Much of this was discussed in the Corner.

I've been underreading The Corner this week; they did cover this well. After some early bombast, they talked it through to a more reasonable conclusion.I was likely dumping my frustration at liberals saying that you can't be a good public servant and have moral principles at the same time. To my ears (well, eyes, I was reading it) Scalia was hitting the same button, since my stance on the death penalty's close to the Pope's-OK in theory, not so hot in modern practice. In other occasions, I've held my fire until I had a bit of time to calm down and could say something coherent. I like Katherine Lopez's post from Tuesday

Kevin Cherry, sometimes (including today) NRO contributor e-mails me to say that we should all calm down about Scalia. "Okay, sure I understand the predictable emphasis on Scalia's Catholicism. But what is novel about the idea that a judge who has a fundamental moral disagreement with the laws he is charged to uphold should, at the very least, recuse himself from such cases or, when the dissent reaches a critical level, resign? It has nothing to do with religion; the left-liberal activists who are similarly opposed to the death penalty should similarly recuse/resign as necessary. I just don't see all the fuss, except, of course, that Scalia can't help but be provocative." I think Cherry's right. And I think Scalia adopts the middle position Ramesh mentions himself ["wherein a judge could think the death penalty wrong but uphold laws that allow it"] on abortion, and expects that most Catholic judges do on the death penalty if they oppose it. I think his answer to a question asked at a law-school conference is a lot more dog-bites-man than the news coverage or our blogging would suggest

Unlikely as it might be-If you're reading this, Mr. Scalia, I ask your forgiveness. I was taking out my frustration at critics of the faithful on you. For the rest of Blogistan-I think the reality is somewhere where Lopez is talking about.

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